17 December 2012

Impact of Cyclone Evan on travellers

As tropical cyclone Evan lashes Fiji today, Australians whose travel plans have been disrupted are advised to contact their travel insurance provider to see if they can be compensated for cancellations.

Insurance Council of Australia CEO Rob Whelan said travellers already stranded in Fiji or Samoa should check their policies before incurring any additional costs that they might intend to claim.

He said most travel insurance policies would cover cancellations caused by the cyclone, depending on the circumstances.

“Cyclone Evan is a Category 4 cyclone and has caused widespread destruction in Samoa and Fiji. Anyone heading to the South Pacific soon, and anyone stranded due to the cyclone, should check their travel insurance policies to determine if their provider will compensate them for flight and accommodation cancellations,” he said.

“Travellers should check whether any costs incurred because of the cyclone are in accordance with the conditions of their policy before making alternative arrangements.”

Mr Whelan said it was vital policyholders affected by the cyclone:

  • Check policy terms and conditions to see if they are covered for any loss they may have incurred
  • Make sure their policy will cover any additional costs they wish to claim before they incur them
  • Contact their insurer if they believe they have incurred a financial loss to clarify any concerns they may have about it, or to lodge a claim

Mr Whelan said most policies had limitations on what costs could be paid and under what circumstances, and these were described in the Product Disclosure Statement for each policy.

“If travellers aren’t sure which insurer they’re with, they should first contact the organisation where they bought the policy, such as their travel agent.”

Travellers are advised to visit the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website for travel advice and information on the cyclone: www.smartraveller.gov.au

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